FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - Drug Database - Zaleplon

 

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Drug Database - Zaleplon Zaleplon 5 mg. capsule

Generic Name: zaleplon (ZAH-leh-plon)

Brand Names: Sonata®

Classification: Sleep Medication

Issue Date: 1999

Zaleplon is in a class of drugs called sedative/hypnotics or sleep medications. Zaleplon affects chemicals in your brain that may become unbalanced and cause insomnia.

Zaleplon is used to treat insomnia. Zaleplon is for short-term use only - usually only a few days to two weeks. Longer-term use must be monitored closely by your doctor.

  • Before Using This Medicine
  • How To Use This Medicine
  • Precautions While on this Medicine
  • Side Effects
  • If You Miss A Dose
  • Drug Interactions
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    Before Using This Medicine

    Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Zaleplon will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities. Zaleplon should be taken just before bedtime but you may experience some carryover effects (drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, memory loss) the next day.

    Do not take zaleplon unless you are able to get 4 or more hours of sleep before you must be active again.

    Do not drink alcohol while taking zaleplon. Alcohol will increase drowsiness and may increase dizziness while you are taking zaleplon, which could be dangerous.

    Do not stop taking zaleplon suddenly if you have been taking it for several days. This may cause withdrawal symptoms and make you uncomfortable. Talk to your doctor if you need to stop treatment with zaleplon.

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    How To Use This Medicine

    Take zaleplon exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

    Take each dose with a full glass of water. For best results, do not take zaleplon with or immediately after a high-fat or heavy meal. Take zaleplon just before you go to bed, or after you have gone to bed and are having trouble falling asleep. Zaleplon works very quickly. It will make you drowsy, and you could fall and hurt yourself if you take your dose before you are ready for sleep.

    Do not take more of this medication than is prescribed for you. Do not take more than one dose in a single night. Do not take zaleplon unless you are able to get 4 or more hours of sleep before you must be active again.

    Do not stop taking zaleplon suddenly if you have been taking it for several days. Stopping suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms and make you uncomfortable. Talk to your doctor if you need to stop treatment with zaleplon.

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    Precautions While on this Medicine

    Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you:

    • have an allergy or sensitivity to tartrazine
    • have a history of drug or alcohol addiction
    • are depressed
    • have liver disease
    • have sleep apnea (stopping breathing for short periods while asleep)
    • have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or another respiratory disease
    • have myasthenia gravis

    You may not be able to take zaleplon, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

    It is unknown whether zaleplon will harm an unborn baby. Do not take zaleplon without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Zaleplon passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

    If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from zaleplon. You may require a lower dose of this medication.

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    If You Miss A Dose

    Since zaleplon is usually taken only if you need it to help you sleep, missing a dose will not cause any problems. Take the missed dose only if you can be sure that you will get 4 or more hours of sleep after the dose. If you do not sleep for 4 or more full hours, you may experience carryover effects from zaleplon after you wake up.

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    Side Effects

    Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

    • skin rash or hives
    • difficulty breathing
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

    If you experience any of the following SERIOUS side effects, stop taking zaleplon and seek emergency medical attention:

    • hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that are not real)
    • abnormal behavior, or severe confusion
    • suicidal thoughts

    Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take zaleplon and talk to your doctor if you experience:

    • day-time drowsiness
    • dizziness or lightheadedness
    • unsteadiness and/ or falls
    • double vision or other vision problems
    • agitation
    • confusion
    • headache
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • abdominal pain
    • depression
    • muscle weakness
    • tremor
    • vivid or abnormal dreams
    • memory difficulties or amnesia

    Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

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    Drug Interactions

    Before taking zaleplon, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications:

    • rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®)
    • phenytoin (Dilantin®)
    • carbamazepine (Tegretol®)
    • phenobarbital (Luminal®, Solfoton®)
    • cimetidine (Tagamet®, Tagamet HB®)

    You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

    Zaleplon may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, other sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine unless your doctor approves.

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